Habeas Corpus Revisited

| | Comments (0)
An AP story says that Senate Democrats and one Republican, Arlen Specter, plan to revisit some of the existing law on detainee treatment, including the "provision barring habeas corpus," which, the article says, "means that only detainees selected for trial by the military are able to confront charges against them, leaving a vast majority of the estimated 14,000 military detainees in custody without a chance to plead their case."

This is false. First, this is false on its face, as the provisions only apply to detainees who are designated as alien unlawful enemy combatants: you have to be an alien (non-American), and you have to be an unlawful enemy combatant (basically, you are not a normal POW under the Geneva Conventions).

Second, as I've mentioned before, the prohibition is except as provided in another section, which gives an explicit appeals process that many believe satisfies the Constitutional right to habeas corpus (if indeed these detainess have such a Constitutional right): by my reading, anyone who is deisgnated a AUEC can appeal that designation itself, which includes the right to appeal the facts under which you are so designated.

So, basically: if you are found to properly be designated an AUEC, then there's no problem: you are guilty of being an AUEC and may be held; if you are found to have the designation improperly, then you are no longer an AUEC and may make full avail of the court system with no limitations on habeas corpus.

There are a few things I am not certain of in the current law (most importantly, the apparent lack of time limit between when the government seeks to determine whether someone is an AUEC, and when that determination is finally made, during which time no appeal may be sought), but even if my analysis is slightly off, the important point is still that there is a process for habeas appeals even for people who are not brought to trial, and the AP and others are just pretending it doesn't exist, and if there is a Constitutional problem with this process, it can be fixed (such as by implementing a time limit).

The best I can figure is they are pretending this process doesn't exist because either they really don't know what they are talking about, because they want to dishonestly manipulate their readers, or because they honestly believe that it doesn't matter, which is similar to the first (they really don't know what they are talking about). slashdot.org

Leave a comment

<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by pudge published on December 28, 2006 4:37 PM.

Update on NRA "Graphic Novel" was the previous entry in this site.

Joel Spolsky is Wrong Again is the next entry in this site.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.